Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This Harry Potter was always my favourite, and this certainly reflected in the state of my book,  this one now has loose pages, which I am considering sellotaping into place (which I always feel bad about).  However this may have changed as it took me over a full month to read this book.  

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, byu J. K. Rowling Book Cover

If you have not yet read Harry Potter in this book we learn a lot about the history of Harry’s parents, something that hasn’t really been addressed in the series previously.  The main storyline follows Harry’s knowledge of the escaped Prisoner Sirius Black and Harry’s discovery on how this relates to him.  

During this book the characters massively develop. Hermione finally realises that teachers are not infallible and that as much as she may try to learn everything from books there are somethings that can’t be learnt through that medium.  This book also brings Hermione closer to Harry as they work together on saving a life without Ron.

We once more see Harry determined to complete something that should be impossible for someone of his age, and developing his must win attitude, strongly influenced by his Quidditch Captain.  

Ron has a much more limited role in this book than the previous two and this understandably helps to improve the relationship between Harry and Hermione.  In the previous year there was a substantial chunk of time where Hermione was not around and this is probably there to restore the balance between the characters. 

One of the themes in this book is friendship, both in the current day with Harry, Hermione and Ron, and the friendships that Harry’s father had. Harry, Ron and Hermione have a falling out which affects how the group interact.  But despite the differences that are demonstrated and shown throughout the book the group are willing to do anything to support each other by the end.  The friendship dynamics that Harry’s father had are revealed and much like Harry Ron and Hermione it was assumed that they would always be there for each other, no matter what.  Unfortunately this was not the case. 

Another theme of the Prisoner of Azkaban is fear. The reader learns for the first time about Azkaban and how the prisoners are treated, and the main reason that there are no escapees.  The creatures which guard Azkaban create fear by ensuring people relive their worst memories. Harry Potter who runs into danger and seemingly has no fear, fears these creatures, and this fear while being rational is one which everyone can understand.  Everyone fears something and this helps to show the readers that despite appearances Harry is also human and has his own fears which he faces. 

The final theme I want to highlight in this book is betrayal.  This book highlights betrayal between friends or doing something that can be perceived as a betrayal.  Hermione, while looking out for her friends best interest, is seen to betray Harry and Ron. This understandably impacts on their friendship and while it is easily resolved the grudge is held  in place for a while.  This apparent betrayal is less complex than the one that affected Harry’s family so grievously, but is seen as just as much of a betrayal by the parties involved.   

This book is written in much the same way as the previous two though as Harry had grown the language used das become more complex allowing the reader to see this as a reflection of the character’s growth.

This book made me feel a little nostalgic, but i was disappointed by this book as it was a long time favourite of mine and I did not enjoy it as much as I used to.  


I gave this book three stars, and while I would read it again I do think that I would want to ensure to have lower expectations.  

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